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Benefits of Marichyasana and How to Do it By Dr. Ankit Sankhe

By Dr. Ankit Sankhe +2 more


Yoga is a traditional Indian way of life that involves using methods to achieve the highest level of consciousness. These methods include spiritual practices, diet, and asanas (meditation). Sage Twist Yoga Pose (Marichyasana), sometimes referred to as Marichi Yoga Pose, has beneficial effects on the spine and abdominal organs.1 

What is Marichyasana? 

Marichyasana stretches the spine and shoulders, stimulates abdominal organs like the liver and kidneys, and aligns the sacroiliac joint (the joint that links your pelvis and lower spine) using the leverage of the arms and legs.2 It has four variations, namely Marichyasana I, II, III, IV.3 


How to do it? 

To begin any of the variations, you must stretch your legs out straight in front of you while you sit on the ground. Read along to understand how to do marichyasana and its variations. 

Marichyasana I 

  • While bending the left knee, the sole and heel of the left foot should be flat on the ground, and the calf should touch the thigh. The right leg should be straight, and the thigh extended. The perineum (an area between the thighs) should be close to the left heel. 
  • Push the left shoulder forward until it touches the left shin. Bend the left elbow, wrap the right forearm behind the back around the waist and wrap the left arm around the left shin and thigh. Clasp the hands together at the wrist. 
  • Keep the extended right leg straight while turning the spine to the left. Exhale and lean forward. Rest the forehead on the right knee.3  

Marichyasana II 

  • The left foot should be placed at the base of the right thigh while the left leg is bent at the knee. The left heel should press on the navel, forming the half-padmasana pose. Now bend the right knee. Lay the right foot flat on the ground. Keep the right leg’s shin parallel to the ground so that the right heel meets the perineum (an area between the thighs) and the right thigh and calf are touching.  
  • Bending forward, extend your right arm forward. Exhale and turn the left forearm behind the back at the waist level. Then, bend the right elbow and curl the right arm around the right shin and thigh. Next, place the left hand behind the back and grab the right wrist with the left hand. 
  • Exhale, lean forward with the trunk and head resting on the bent left knee, extend the neck and place the chin on the floor.3 

Marichyasana III 

  • Follow step 1 of marichyasana I. 
  • Turn your spine to the left by about 90 degrees and exhale, bring your right arm over your left leg while your chest extends beyond the left thigh. Stretch the chest and extend the right arm by rotating the spine even farther to the left. 
  • While exhaling, bend the right elbow, place the left wrist under the waist and twist the right arm over the left knee. Hold your right wrist with your left hand behind your back.  
  • Turn your head and look over your left shoulder.3 

Marichyasana IV 

  • Place your right foot at the base of the left thigh while the right leg is bent at the knee. The right heel should press on the navel. The right leg should be in half padmasana pose (Lotus). Kneeling down, lay the left foot flat on the ground. So that the left thigh and calf connect and the left heel touches the perineum (area between the thighs). 
  • While exhaling, turn the spine about 90 degrees to the left, such that the right armpit touches the outer side of the left thigh. 
  • Place the right shoulder beyond the left knee and stretch the right arm out forwards by turning the spine still more to the left, stretching the chest. 
  • Exhaling, bend the right elbow, place the right wrist behind the waist and rotate the right arm around the left knee. Holding your right wrist with your left hand behind your back, turn your left arm from the shoulder in that direction. Straightening your spine, turn your head to glance over your left shoulder while extending your chest..3 

To come out of the pose, you may release the hands, inhale and then move the head and trunk back to normal position and straighten the legs.3 

As per a trial conducted on 75 women, a light form of exercise such as Marichyasana could improve sleep quality and improve insomnia prevalence. I belief no harm comes with trying and every woman should include this in her fitness regime.

Dr. Siddharth Gupta, B.A.M.S, M.D (Ayu)

Do You Know? 

There are several interesting pieces of information about marichyasana that might be interesting to read some of them are as follows: 

  • Marichyasana was named after Sage Marichi, the son of lord Brahma. 
  • The traditional hatha yoga described in yoga Markranda by Rishi Krushnamacharya does not include this position. Thus, it is a component of Ashtanga yoga. 
  • Marichyasana helps to balance the svadisthana and manipura chakras. 

As per a study, older women who suffered from restless leg syndrome (RLS) experienced reduced sleep disturbances and stress. However, a larger controlled study is required to confirm these benefits. Meanwhile, Marichyasana could be beneficial to such women. It is better that any new exercise should be done under professional guidance.

Dr. Rajeev Singh, BAMS

Benefits of Marichyasana: 

Marichyasana, when practised with a combination of other yoga asanas, has been found beneficial in several studies.  

Benefits of Marichyasana for Respiratory Disorders 

Yoga asanas like marichyasana, which are regulated stretching poses, may enhance and support the pranayamas by strengthening the respiratory muscles, the diaphragm and the upper abdominal muscles. In the past, research has shown that practising yoga may increase lung function, respiratory muscle strength and endurance in volunteers. A study by Kamalanathan et al. done in 2020 reported that yoga improves the lung capacity.1 

Benefits of Marichyasana for Asthma and Bronchitis 

Asthma and bronchitis are two chronic lung conditions that can harm the lungs. The combination of these asanas (postures such as marichyasana) and pranayama (the art of controlled breathing) might be used to improve asthma and bronchitis. However, there might be several complications in these conditions and they may need medical attention immediately.1 

Benefits of Marichyasana for Multiple Sclerosis 

In their study, Guner and Inanici (2013) found that yoga therapy helped individuals with multiple sclerosis with their fatigue, balance, step length and walking speed. Further, some visible improvements were observed in hip extension, pelvic tilt (the positioning of the pelvis in relation to the body during movements) and ankle power, thus resulting in improvement of motor control. Future research with larger samples would be needed to establish this benefit of marichyasana.2 

Benefits of Marichyasana for Athletes 

Dan Xu et. al. in 2022 studied yoga poses to see how they affected functional movement awareness patterns and to study the increase in core strength, joint flexibility, muscle endurance and body flexibility of collegiate athletes. Marichyasana and other asanas and meditation were included in the yoga intervention’s course material for this study. This yoga intervention resulted in substantial improvements in deep squats, shoulder mobility, trunk stability during pushups and rotatory stability, suggesting that this intervention also increased joint flexibility and core strength.4 

Benefits of Marichyasana for Osteoporosis 

A study conducted by Fishman (2009) studied the impact of yogasanas such as marichyasana on bones in people with osteoporosis (a medical condition in which the bones become brittle and fragile). It was found in the studies that yoga appears to be an effective way to build bone mineral density in elderly patients. They observed that patients with osteoporosis, after practising a combination of yoga exercises, were found to have improved bone mineral density and had lower instances of injuries. However, more studies with larger populations must be conducted to confirm the benefits of these asanas.5 

Other Benefits of Marichyasana 

  • The practice of this marichyasana stimulates abdominal organs like the liver and kidneys. It may have benefits in maintaining the digestion of food and elimination of waste.2 
  • Marichyasana may have a positive effect on spine health as it strengthens and lengthens the spine and helps relieve back tension. It might also help stretch the shoulders and chest.1,6 
  • This asana might calm the mind, and it might also help to balance emotions.6 

Yoga practice may help develop the mind and body; however, it is still not an alternative to modern medicine. You must not rely on yoga alone to treat any condition. Please consult a qualified doctor who will be able to assess your condition correctly and advise accordingly. Moreover, it is necessary to practice and learn yoga under the supervision of a trained yoga teacher to avoid any injuries.  

Risks of Marichyasana 

Avoid this pose if you have chronic spinal or back injuries. Do this only under the supervision of a trained yoga teacher.1 

With the guidance of a qualified and experienced yoga teacher/yoga expert, we can assess and analyse the risk factors and continue to practice marichyasana with precautions.  


Marichyasana, or sage twist yoga pose, is a beneficial yoga pose as it stretches the spine and shoulders and stimulates abdominal organs like the liver and kidneys. It also aligns the joints using the leverage of the arms and legs. It can be practised in four variations. It may be used in combination with yoga therapies to help in conditions like osteoporosis, respiratory diseases and multiple sclerosis. This may, however be performed under the guidance of a trained yoga instructor to obtain maximum benefits. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

1) How many variations of marichyasana are commonly known? 

Marichyasana or mariachi’s pose is practised in 4 variations which are also called marichyasana I, II, III and IV or Marichyasana ABCD.3,4 

2) Is marichyasana beneficial for the elderly? 

Some studies have shown the benefits of marichyasana for the elderly with osteoporosis. However, it is a difficult asana, and they may perform it under supervision only.5 

3) What are the other common names of marichyasana yoga? 

Marichyasana is also known as marichi’s pose, mariachi yoga pose and sage twist yoga pose.1 

4) What are the risks involved with marichyasana? 

Marichi’s yoga pose or marichyasana might pose a risk to people with spinal issues. Thus, people with chronic spinal or back injuries must avoid performing this asana.1 

5) How is marichyasana good for our spine health?  

Marichyasana strengthens and stretches the spine, it may thus have beneficial effects on the spine as it may help relieve back tension.1,6 


  1. Ashok K, Babu M, Senthil J. Effects of Yoga Exercises on Respiratory Disorders. Alochana Chakra Journal. 2020 May, 9 (5):2413 Available from: (PDF) EFFECTS OF YOGA EXERCISES ON RESPIRATORY DISORDERS (researchgate.net) 
  1. Guner S, Inanici F. Yoga therapy and ambulatory multiple sclerosis assessment of gait analysis parameters, fatigue and balance. Journal of bodywork and movement therapies. 2015 Jan 1;19(1):72-81. Available from: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1360859214000564  
  1. Posture Guidelines, Australian Sports Federation 2022, [Internet] Available from: https://www.australasianyogasportsfederation.org/src/rules/Guidelines202206.pdf 
  1. Xu D, Wu H, Ruan H, Yuan C, Gao J, Guo M. Effects of Yoga Intervention on Functional Movement Patterns and Mindfulness in Collegiate Athletes: A Quasi-Experimental Study. International journal of environmental research and public health. 2022 Nov 13;19(22):14930. Available from: https://www.mdpi.com/1660-4601/19/22/14930 
  1. Fishman LM. Yoga for osteoporosis: a pilot study. Topics in Geriatric Rehabilitation. 2009 Jul 1;25(3):244-50. Available from: https://journals.lww.com/topicsingeriatricrehabilitation/Fulltext/2009/07000/Yoga_for_Osteoporosis__A_Pilot_Study.9 
  1. Sengupta PA. The bliss yoga inculcates during the different stages of pregnancy. Int J Pharm Pharm Sci. 2014;6(10):86-7. Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Pallav-Sengupta-2/publication/287896848_The_bliss_yoga_inculcates_during_the_different_stages_of_pregnancy/links/57ff200308ae7275640169e6/The-bliss-yoga-inculcates-during-the-different-stages-of-pregnancy.pdf  

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